If any team is going to be unfazed by Yankee Stadium, it's the Phillies. Charlie Manuel's team posted a 48-33 road record during the regular season and is 3-1 in away games in the postseason. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only two National League World Series clubs in the past 20 years posted better road records than the 2009 Phillies: The 2004 St. Louis Cardinals (52-29, .642) and the 1995 Atlanta Braves (46-26, .639).
Here are some of the best nuggets from the pregame packets: • Tonight's Game 1 marks the second time that two former Cy Young Award winners, CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee, will face off in the first game of the World Series. According to Elias, the only other time came in Game 1 of the 1995 World Series when Atlanta's Greg Maddux faced Cleveland's Orel Hershiser. It's also the second time former teammates will oppose each other in Game 1 of the World Series; the last time came in 2005, when Houston's Roger Clemens faced Chicago's Jose Contreras. Clemens and Contreras were teammates on the Yankees. • Yankees starters own a 2.55 ERA in the 2009 playoffs, and opponents are batting .219 off Yankees starters. In addition, Yankees starters have allowed three earned runs or fewer in 19 of the past 21 games since Sept. 21, including eight of nine in the playoffs. • According to Elias, Alex Rodriguez's three game-tying home runs in the seventh inning or later in the 2009 postseason are the most such HRs ever for a player in his postseason career. • The Yankees are looking to become the third team among MLB's current 30 franchises to win the World Series in the first season of their current stadium (the others are the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals and the 1912 Boston Red Sox). • The Yankees are 4-0 against left-handed starters in the 2009 postseason and were 36-18 versus lefties during the regular season, the second-best winning percentage in the majors against lefties. • The Phillies' bullpen has gone 4-1 with a 2.88 ERA with one homer allowed during the playoffs. • Chase Utley, who went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in his first-ever playoff game, has reached base safely via a hit or walk in every postseason game he's played in since then. His 25-game on-base streak is a National League record and tied for the longest streak in MLB history with Boog Powell (1966-1971). • In the 2009 postseason, the Phillies lead all MLB clubs in OBP (.363), runs (55), RBI (54), triples (4) and extra-base hits (31). • The Phillies went 48-33 on the road this season, tied with the Los Angeles Angels for the best road record among all MLB teams.
With a few hours left until the first pitch is thrown, ESPN.com writers Gene Wojciechowski and Jerry Crasnick sat down at Yankee Stadium and talked about tonight's Game 1. They also discussed which players might end up being the top performers in the series. Click here to listen to the podcast.
The Phillies' lineup was posted on the board in the Yankee Stadium press box. Here it is:
- Jimmy Rollins SS
Shane Victorino CF
Chase Utley 2B
Ryan Howard 1B
Jayson Werth RF
Raul Ibanez DH
Ben Francisco LF
Pedro Feliz 3B
Carlos Ruiz C
So the Phillies are able to use a better defensive outfielder (Francisco over Ibanez) and get another right-handed batter in the lineup against Sabathia.
Although it rained all day here in New York, the sun is out now, and it appears that there will be a game tonight without any weather delays. Here's the schedule for the rest of the day at Yankee Stadium:
- 4:50-6 p.m.: Yankees take batting practice
5 p.m.: Gates open to the public
6-6:40 p.m.: Phillies take batting practice
7:38 p.m.: Starting lineups are announced
7:47 p.m.: National anthem
7:51 p.m.: Ceremonial first pitch
7:53 p.m.: Umpires and managers meet at home plate
7:55 p.m.: Yankees take the field
7:57 p.m.: First pitch from CC Sabathia to Jimmy Rollins
In case you hadn't seen the news story today, the Yankees added Eric Hinske and Brian Bruney to their World Series roster and dropped Freddy Guzman and Francisco Cervelli. Yankees manager Joe Girardi explained the move during his news conference: "Obviously, when we get to the National League city, pinch hitters are going to be important, and by adding Hinske, we felt that we added another pinch hitter. And the other thing is in the National League sometimes there's more pitching changes because you have to hit for them, so we thought it was important to add another pitcher."
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera told reporters that he plans to have a talk with set-up man Phil Hughes, who was a model of reliability during the regular season, but has been eminently hittable in the playoffs. Precisely what Rivera plans to say to Hughes, he kept to himself.
"Mo did it on his own,'' manager Joe Girardi said. "That's the great thing about having the veteran players that we have. They're not afraid to speak up.''
Hughes is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA in six postseason appearances. He's allowed nine hits in 4 2/3 innings, and the Twins and Angels have hit .391 against him. Opponents batted only .217 against Hughes during the regular season.